The objective of the abolitionist movement was the immediate emancipation of all slaves, and the goal of the elimination racial discrimination and segregation. Those who advocated for immediate freedom of slaves distinguished abolitionists from more moderate anti-slavery advocates who argued for gradual emancipation of slaves and prevention of slavery to spread further west. Radical abolitionism was partly fueled by ideas of the Second Great Awakening, which persuaded many people to favor emancipation on religious grounds. Abolitionist ideas became increasingly common in Northern churches and politics, which contributed to the regional animosity between North and South leading up to the Civil War.

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